Caution: Words At Play

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CNN barks up the right tree with this witty word play lead: “Every dog has his day, but Sir Lancelot — or at least his carbon copy — has a second one.” The article – “Florida couple clones beloved dog for 155,000” -teases us rather politely with this play on a common expression before going on to elaborate upon Sir Lancelot’s reincarnation, as it were. I hate to be overly enthusiastic, but I have to admit that I love nothing more than a punningly cheesy opener–not to mention that it brings an added element of a shocking statement lead.

The article could have started off with a blind or scene-setting lead, which would have worked for the subject matter as well, but the word play lead appeals more to the type of audience who loves to read feel-good, human interest stories such as this one. Furthermore, because the subject matter is mildly controversial, the light-hearted and playful lead works well to diffuse any hard feelings and affirm that, though the article addresses the contention, it is not the primary focus. Were it me, I might have punned on the dog’s waggish name instead, but one thing is for sure: there will be puns.

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